Featured Poems


by on March 23, 2018 :: 0 comments

If you can arrange for adolescence
To coincide with your mother’s change of life,
That will yield a certain result.
Further, if you can arrange to be
An only child, that will heighten the effect.
I’m fairly sure she did not mean things
Exactly the way they sounded:
Well, he talks a good game
To my counselor, depositing me at sports camp;
Who calls that music
Of my Stan Getz LP.
Late in life, she complained about a concert
At the nursing home we’d found:
They were terrible, she said,
And I was in it.

Love is more complicated than you think.

Once or twice we smuggled in a little bourbon,
And she’d smile and click the ice cubes in her glass,
As she had done on Daisy Sanders’ porch
On Rust Pond in June of ’64,
And we would joke about
Those days, those bittersweet
Days of home.

– Robert Demaree

editors note:

Young look forward and old look back; somewhere to meet in now. – mh clay

how it unravels:

by on March 22, 2018 :: 0 comments

me. string. disappearing act looking for the starting knot // tongue- // tied like magician’s scarves that amble without end. mind. twirling. riptides causing ruckus & mayday causing mayhem // a phantom limb of preconceived notions affixed to your wrists & feet. it starts with me // absent. turning trickster in the half- // moon. light as a feather that flaunts its impermanence in wind. the beginning is // me. flimsy. wound up too tight to be wrapped around a hand // & unable to wrap my mind around companionship // i don’t cut myself enough // slack.

– Marisa Adame

editors note:

How it comes with “no strings attached.” – mh clay

Wings of Light

by on March 21, 2018 :: 0 comments

Each day is a dreamland;
Have you seen my golden palace in heaven?
Many an interstellar kingdom twinkles within that little room of stone.
The music of giants is honey for the soul, that gives you wings of light;
Yet you are surprised as if time had never passed,
When the one armored in diamond escorts you out of the world.

Translated by Manu Mangattu
Assistant Professor, Department of English
St George College Aruvithura, India

editors note:

If out of here, must be into somewhere, right? (spoken aside, to escort) – mh clay

Better Than Broadway

by on March 20, 2018 :: 0 comments

“This doesn’t look like Broadway,”
Remarked the man
Boasting a snide grin.
And I was angry
At first,
Because it’s easy to feel
Working front register
At a coffee shop
In a small town,
When you once
Of fame and glamor
On the grand stage
In the big city.

But then I smiled,
Because I do not need
The spotlight
When I see how my lover’s eyes
Light up.
I don’t need crowds
Cheering my name
When I hear how my lover
Whispers it.
Because this is not
What I thought
I wanted.
This isn’t Broadway,
And these red hills
Don’t say
But you can keep
Your greasepaint and glitter
Because what I have
Is better than Broadway.

– Alexandria Biamonte

editors note:

Yes, better; especially if the show goes for a lifetime run. – mh clay

Us, years later

by on March 19, 2018 :: 0 comments

Up the broken steps,
between the vodka and the tears,
crying washed out the truths.
We got lost somewhere between
the past and the present.

Somewhere between when those
clear tells fell and the crystal vodka
turned to red blood,
was the trust you needed,
was the truth I wanted.

editors note:

Sometimes it takes years to break that bottle which blocks the way between trust and truth. (We welcome Kimberly to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay


by on March 18, 2018 :: 0 comments

The piano
The night
And the doubts

If I can make it
Through another week
If I can repair what I have broken

Without a drink
With the money that I don’t have
With all the people who have now gone

This September, it will be forty five
This October, it will be seven
And this November, it will be one month


Like photographs of Shinjuko
Like letters from Sabadell

They are just something
To put down
Something for these thoughts
To tie their petty selves to

Like Guanyin, like beads
Like numbers, like time

Next week

Tell me
Go on, tell me, please –

Does he comfort you
Each and every night?
Will they carry on working
When you cannot afford to pay?
Can you tell me if any of your teachings
Have ever truly conquered death?

I have lost track of all the conversations
And they have lost all track of me

Las Huertas con Carlos
Kunming with Da Ma
136 with The Hurricane

This mind has too many stories
To keep itself occupied
But no attention for the detail

Like the raspberries in the alcohol
Like the mountain brothel honeymoon

I can hear
The glass screen break
And feel it shove
Those Beijing shards
Straight back down my opiated throat

All carved out charm for prostitutes
All blackened blood from a poisoned tongue



Would you forgive?
Would you forget?
Would you ever believe a word of it?


From Khaosan clubs
To dirty Poipet massage parlours
The lies I like to feed myself
Give no reasons and have no answer for
The dust, the shelves, the walls and jars


I nod
I see
I hear

The moonlight shifting
The piano playing

Through these rooms
Through these autumn trees

editors note:

No apology; apologia only. – mh clay

a hanging moon in the west.

by on March 17, 2018 :: 0 comments

moon starts off heavy and orange
just over the stark naked trees
wintering west of this stand

some idea of where the sun is
some feeling stretching out
a distance to that sun and it
aint in the west or the east

we just hanging here
it hangs out of sight
it’s unfathomable where it’s at
numbers can say it

numbers can make up a length
but it’s out there
in all of this
and i’m out here in all of this

and here, in here, in this flesh
this living thing
this making a sense within speaks
“orange moon, unseen moon”

after that you can do anything
with words – you can make anything up
you can make any place real
but it ain’t, is it?

and as night, something, moves
that moon softens out of orange
climbs into the sky
makes a way towards the west

and i can’t fathom the stars
and they can’t fathom me
and i’m asking for something
and i don’t think it’s there

it is some form alright
in all this formlessness
inhale, breathe deep and look out
i could cry but for what

no one said to go there
but go there i go
all the words run out of themselves.
all the words run out of me.

making up all the men and women.
in this place. so vast. listen to it.
the moon ain’t orange anymore. just listen.
until the next time.

day will come and all this
will seem strange
as everything is normal in the light.
but it ain’t. and it never will be.

and this is where we are now.
the past is gone. the future
is yet to be. listen to it.

listen to yourself.

– Brendan McCormack

editors note:

As words waste away, like the waning moon… listen. – mh clay